Unsual Gardens in Venice, the Garden of the Guggenheim collection

Unsual Gardens in Venice -2 Peggy Guggenheim collection

Peggy Guggenheim Foundation, Venice

The garden of the Peggy Guggenheim Foundation is a hidden gem that combines art and nature. Located in Venice, in the Dorsoduro district, this small enchanting outdoor space is home to a small, but important collection of sculptures that beautifully complement  the Guggenheim museum.

When the visitor enters the Guggenheim Museum’s garden, they encounter the first part of the collection known as the ‘ Garden of the Sculptures’ It consists of several sculptures in bronze and other materials that Peggy Guggenheim had collected over the years.

This small garden of stones, trees, and boxwood, which blends nature and beauty, is a corner of peace, especially on days when Venice can seem truly chaotic.

The garden includes sculptures by Alberto Giacometti, Germain Richer, Jean Arp Henry Moore, Alexander Calder, but also Italian artists, such as Arnaldo Pomodoro, Mirco Basaldella, whom Peggy collected once she moved to Italy.

These sculptures capture attention and encourage viewers to examine their intricate features and contemplate their artistic meaning.   

The garden had, some years ago, an addition in the section called ‘The Nasher Garden’; it is a recent addition to the garden where the sculptures come from the Nasher Garden Foundation in Dallas, Texas.These sculptures were generously donated by the Nasher Foundation, with the intention of displaying various forms of contemporary artistic expression.

The Nasher Foundation

The Nasher Foundation was created in Dallas, Texas by Patsy and Raymond Nasher in 2003. 

In 1999, the Nasher  decided to have a space built for exhibiting their collection in the center of Dallas, a kind of natural and architectural oasis where art blends with nature. Unlike the Garden and the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, housed in an ancient Venetian palace, the Nasher Center is a modern and functional structure.

The architecture that host the collection, together with the park, was designed and build by the Italian architects Renzo and Lia Piano ( Renzo Piano Building Workshop ) together with the landscape architect Pieter Walker Studio.

The garden, entirely enclosed by travertine walls, give the impression of being in an archaeological site. It is a 8,000-square-meter outdoor space that hosts approximately 25 sculptures from the collection in rotation and is planted with cedar trees, oaks, Afghan pines, weeping willows, and bamboo.

Peggy Guggenheim and her garden

It’s easy to understand why Peggy loved her garden and palace so much, to the point of wanting to make them her final abode.

Peggy Guggenheim had her byzantine throne and a stone gazebo, that are part of the garden.The sculptures serve as both aesthetic delights and thought-provoking pieces that encourage our reflection on contemporary art.

If you are an art lover or a just curious traveller interested in contemporary art, a visit to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection leaves you with the memory of an unusual palace and garden connected to Venice and its founder, Peggy.

Whether you are looking for a corner of peace and greenery in Venice or seeking the experience of contemporary art in one of Italy’s most important collections, I will be glad to show you this special place of my city, Venice.

Fiorella Pagotto


Nahser Garden, Dallas Photo by Andreas Praefcke –